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Mike Gorodinsky Wins 2015 World Series of Poker $50,000 Poker Players Championship

Poker Pro Defeats Jean-Robert Bellande To Win Second Bracelet And $1,270,086


Less than two weeks ago Mike Gorodinsky was heads-up in the 2015 World Series of Poker $10,000 Razz championship against Phil Hellmuth. Gorodinsky fell just short that day, but only 12 days later found himself in much the same scenario, facing another popular and brash opponent heads-up for a massive title.

In this match he was facing Jean-Robert Bellande as the final two players in the WSOP $50,0000 buy-in Poker Players Championship, one of the most prestigious titles in the game. This time around Gordinsky did emerge victorious, receiving his second gold bracelet and the $1,270,086 first-place prize, the largest payday of his tournament career.

“I feel amazing,” Gorodinsky said after the win. “This is literally something that I’ve gone to bed dreaming about, and it’s just cool to legitimately realize a dream. So it’s just an amazing day. An amazing five days.”

In addition to the money and the hardware Gorodinsky also earned the honor of having his name added to the illustrious list of champions on the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, named for the late champion of this event when it was first introduced as the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. in 2006.

The format for this tournament was changed to an eight-game mix in 2010, adding limit triple draw deuce-to-seven lowball, no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha. This year the event added two new games to the mix in badugi and no-limit deuce-to-seven single draw lowball. The change drew praise from some players but also plenty of complaints from players, and is suspected to be a contributing factor in the low turnout of 84 players (down from 102 players in 2014 and 132 players in 2013.)

Still, many of the game’s greatest did turn out and put up the sizable buy-in, building a total prize pool of $4,032,000. In the end it came down to a final table of six, with Gorodinsky entering the ultimate day in second chip position behind fellow bracelet winner David Baker. It was Jean-Robert Bellande who won the majority of the key hands early at the final table, though, including the hands that eliminated two-time gold bracelet winner Daniel Kelly in sixth place and 2012 runner-up in this event Chris Klodnicki in fourth.

Baker got back on the right track by sending high-stakes online cash game player Bun Sulsky to the rail in fourth place, but was unable to build any momentum and eventually was eliminated when he ran his KSpade SuitJHeart Suit into the pocket kings of Gorodinsky to set up the final heads-up showdown for the title.

Gorodinsky began with a roughly 7.5 million of the 12.5 million chips in play. Incredibly, this was not the first time that these players have payed heads-up for a mixed game title. Gorodinsky beat Bellande heads-up in a $5,000 eight-game event at the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. This time around the two battled it out for several hours, with Bellande fighting back to take the lead at one point. Gorodinsky was eventually able to retake the advantage and stretch it until he had more than a 3-to-1 lead.

Jean-Robert BellandeThe final hand came down in pot-limit Omaha. Bellande raised to 300,000 from the button and Gorodinsky called. The flop brought the QDiamond Suit9Diamond Suit8Spade Suit and Gorodinsky checked. Bellande bet 600,000 and Gorodinsky raised the pot, making it 2.4 million total or approximately about what Bellande had in his stack. Bellande thought the hand over before deciding to commit, moving all in. Gorodisnky called and revealed the 10Club Suit8Heart Suit8Club Suit3Heart Suit for bottom set while Bellande had AClub SuitQSpade Suit10Spade Suit9Club Suit for two pair.

The turn saw the KClub Suit hit the felt, leaving Gorodinsky one card away from the biggest win of his career. The KDiamond Suit on the river gave him a full house to win the pot and send Bellande to the rail as the runner up with $784,828 for his impressive performance.

For the win Gorodinsky was also awarded 816 Card Player Player of the Year points. This was his third final table of the year, with his previously mentioned runner-up finish in the $10,000 Razz and a third-place showing in the $5,000 six-max no-limit hold’em, also at the WSOP. As a result of his strong summer he has climbed to ninth place in the overall POY rankings with 2,436 points and $1,684,470 in year-to-date earnings.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Mike Gorodinsky $1,270,086 816
2 Jean-Robert Bellande $784,828 680
3 David Baker $514,926 544
4 Ben Sulsky $353,928 408
5 Chris Klodnicki $251,314 340
6 Daniel Kelly $184,222 272

For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2015 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.

Winner photo and quote provided by WSOP.